After two thrilling semifinal games in the 2011 Big East Tournament, the championship will pit Kemba Walker and his Connecticut Huskies against Rick Pitino's Louisville Cardinals. The Huskies are trying to win this title after playing on the first day, while Louisville hopes to follow up its comeback win over Notre Dame with a Big East championship, which will take place Saturday night at 9 p.m. on ESPN.
Connecticut got to this point by defeating DePaul in the openin round, then following it up with wins over three straight ranked opponents. The Huskies topped No. 8 seed Georgetown, 79-62, in the second round, topped No. 1 seed Pittsburgh in the quarterfinals on a Walker buzzer beater, then defeated No. 4 seed Syracuse in just one overtime in the semifinals Friday night. Louisville, the No. 3 seed, got a double bye in the tournament, topping No. 11 seed Marquettein the quarterfinals and rallying to beat No. 2 seed Notre Dame last night.
On paper, this is obviously a matchup between Walker and a deep, ranked opponent. That would seem to give Louisville the edge, especially after the win over a Notre Dame squad that was playing as well as anyone in the nation. But such was the case with all of Connecticut's previous victories in this tournament. Who's to say Kemba can't do it again.